George Osborne’s promise to rebalance the economy is fast becoming a pipe dream warned Britain’s largest union Unite as it called on the government to adopt an active industrial strategy.
Today’s (Tuesday 12 January) warning from the union which represents over 500,000 workers in manufacturing comes as official figures showed the biggest fall in industrial output for three years with manufacturing output 1.2 per cent lower than a year ago.
Commenting Tony Burke Unite assistant general secretary for manufacturing said: “These figures are deeply worrying and show that George Osborne’s promise to rebalance the economy is becoming an ever distant pipedream.
“The absence of a coherent industrial strategy is exposing the UK’s manufacturing sector to the whims of global headwinds and risks hollowing out skills and jobs in a key sector of our nation’s economy.
“As we saw with closure of the steel works in Redcar, the government’s laissez faire approach damages communities and strips out decent well paid jobs from the economy.
“With steel communities across the UK facing uncertainty and as the storm clouds grow in the global economy we urge the government to adopt an active industrial strategy with steel at its heart.
“Now is the time for the government to follow the example of countries like Germany who actively support their industries. It’s time for the government to put its words on procurement and the dumping of cheap steel into action to save our steel and boost manufacturing.”
For further information please contact Unite head of media and campaigns Alex Flynn on 020 3371 2066 or 07967 665869.
Notes to editors:
Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.